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DE Science Elementary
“5-Minute Prep” For
Ecosystem Change
Extinction – The Big Ideas
When an ecosystem changes, living things
survive, move, or die off.
Species that adapt over time can survive and
Rapid changes make survival for species more
difficult than gradual changes.
Changes to an ecosystem are part of the
process of adaptation and survival.
Some species may survive by moving to a
location with better conditions.
Extinction – Prior Knowledge
Students are fascinated by nature and the world
around them. It will help for students to use the
Fun-damental, Exploring Ecosystems, to review
ecosystems. It will also be helpful if students
• visited different types of local habitats.
• read a book about dinosaurs or played with
dinosaur toys.
Extinction – Common Misconceptions
• Individuals can adapt to a changing environment. These
adaptations are heritable.
– Reality: Inherited traits are passed from parents to offspring in a
species. A mutation is a change in traits that are adapted over
time and through generations of a species. These changes allow
species to survive environmental changes.
• Humans are responsible for the extinction of the
– Reality: Fossil evidence does not provide evidence that
humans lived during the time period when the dinosaurs lived on
Extinction – Using DE Science Content
When you close this presentation, you can review the
following recommended resources for Extinction.
Exploration: Extinction
Reading Passage: Extinction Today
Video: The Disappearing Frogs
Video: Reasons for Protecting the Bengal Tiger and the
Asiatic Lion
Use the PowerPoint version of this presentation for
hyperlinks to these resources or you can get to them
through the browser or search feature.
Extinction – Instructional Ideas
• Use a computer lab to have each student or
pairs of students complete the Exploration:
– Have students reassemble a skeleton from an owl
pellet or a puzzle of a skeleton.
• The students will determine about how big the animal was
when it was living and what they think the animal might have
eaten based on its mouth parts.
• Read Fossils.
– Have the students make imprints with shells and
Plaster of Paris.
State standards:
If you wish to review your state standards
regarding extinction, click here to get to the
curriculum standards search feature of DES.
You can click on any standard to see what
resources are available to teach it.
Additional Information:
For additional content, check the Extend section
within the concept.